Finding your rhythm: a career in music events

The music industry is competitive and individualistic, but Victoria University graduate Fiona Nicolson remains determined to forge a career for herself in a field she loves Fiona Nicolson is trying to forge a career in the music industry organising music events.

"My first time at a music festival I was in awe of the amount of music to see and the love the crowd had for the bands," she says. "It was then that I realised what I wanted more than anything was to be the person behind that, who brought the music out and got it to the public"

In 2008, after three years of study at Victoria University, Fiona set off to find a dream job with a Bachelor of Business (Music Industry/Event Management) under her wing.

"It was very challenging finding work post-university. I find that the events and music industries are very much based on who you know. During university I was working at a number of event and music based companies in the capacity of an internship in order to make contacts."

Fiona participated in three internships as part of her studies. Two of these were with Mushroom Group Promotions (publicity and promotion for music industry professionals, such as record labels and concert promoters) in 2008. The other was with the Williamstown Festival in March 2009, an annual arts and culture event held in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown

"Internships are always a great way to learn a business ground up… As the (Williamstown) Festival is run solely on the help of volunteers, the interns had a huge role to play. I was given the opportunity to manage key aspects of the event, including coordination of the community parade and booking artists to perform."

Fiona's work at Mushroom gave her a greater look into the promotions and marketing aspect of the business: "I was involved in a number of media events but the greatest highlight was getting to be a part of Sound Relief." Sound Relief was a multi-venue rock concert held to raise funds for those affected by the February 2009 Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods.

Fiona was awarded the Faculty of Business and Law Undergraduate Student Medal for 'academic excellence' during the course of her studies. "My high grades, as well as involvement with faculty events and functions, made me eligible for the award… I was very honoured to receive it."

Since completing her degree Fiona says she has: "continued event work with various festivals, helped out with local community functions and worked for Marriner Theatres and Festival Hall. My music industry involvement… has been a bit more grass roots, planning and hosting a number of local gigs with up and coming artists."

Fiona is looking forward to the next challenge: "Ideally I would love to own my own live music venue. For the time being I plan on continuing my work with certain outdoor festivals, as not only is it a great way to meet industry people, it also continues to be a thrilling experience."
Fiona Christine Nicolson

Graduate, Bachelor of Business (Music Industry and Event Management) with high distinction
Victoria University (Australia)